The megacity of Mumbai, Maharashtra, is home to a number of amazing tourist attractions like Gateway of India, Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Marine Drive, Juhu Beach, and more. Though most of these are top tourist destinations in the city, Mumbai also has a number of hidden gems that are just waiting to be explored. And one such hidden gem is Jogeshwari Caves. It is a massive cave complex in Jogeshwari suburb of Mumbai, and is a great example of early Buddhist cave temples in the city and nearby areas. The caves are said to have been constructed between 520 to 550 CE. The caves were once known as Amboli caves and are one of the largest rock-cut caves in India. The architectural style of Jogeshwari caves bears a strong resemblance to the popular Elephanta caves located near the city and many myths surround the caves. The cave complex houses many Hindu deities and is a place of worship for many locals. The cave complex was once in a severely dilapidated condition due to years of neglect until a local agency took over and restored the caves. To know more, check out our guide to Jogeshwari Caves, Mumbai.
Things to do / Highlights
Admire the architecture
Jogeshwari caves are massive and one of the largest rock-cut caves in India. They follow a similar style of architecture as the other famous cave complexes like Elephanta and Ajanta. Legend has it Jogeshwari caves were built by Pandavas from the Hindu mythology, during their exile, and a secret passage connects these caves to Mahakali caves nearby. They are one of the oldest cave temples in the city. Their architecture style is Brahmanical rock-cut, with a significant resemblance to the construction style prevalent during the Vakataka rule.
Several detailed carvings and pillars are seen in the cave complex. A number of steep stairs will lead you to the main area of the caves, that houses many statues of Hindu deities. The marvelous and cavernous beauty of these caves makes it a must-visit spot for those keen on exploring hidden gems of the city.
Offer prayers and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere
Though a tourist attraction, Jogeshwari caves house a number of idols of Hindu deities, making them a place of worship. Several locals, especially some sects of Marathi and Gujarati people, worship the Hindu goddess Jogeshwari or Yogeshwari, as their mother goddess and family deity. It is after this goddess that the suburb of Jogeshwari is named, and her footprints and idol are located within the cave. Other prominent deities that are worshipped here are Hindu gods Ganpati, Hanuman and Dattatreya. Visitors can offer a prayer to the deities or sit in silence and take in the peaceful atmosphere. Such a tranquil environment is perfect for studying or reading, and it is also not uncommon to see students here at all times of the day.
Time your visit
Like most other tourist attractions in India, it is best to visit Jogeshwari caves early in the morning, when the crowd is relatively less and the weather is not too hot. Also, the caves are very quiet and peaceful at that time. If weather is a concern, you should avoid the summer months of March to May, and visit from November to February instead. Another great time to visit is during the Hindu festivals of Navratri and Mahashivratri. Visitors should be mindful of the fact that the caves close early in the evening, so time your visit accordingly.
Photography and lighting
Unlike other ancient sites in the city, photography is permitted within this cave complex. So, you click as many pictures as you like without having to worry about authorities or locals taking offense. But one problem that you may face while trying to take the perfect shot is lighting. Most areas of Jogeshwari caves do not receive sufficient natural light and there isn’t adequate artificial lighting as well.
How to get there
By public transport
Jogeshwari Caves are convenient to access by public transport. The caves are located on the eastern side of Jogeshwari suburb of Mumbai. You can take a train stopping at Jogeshwari station on the Western Railway line of the Mumbai local train service. From there, you can walk for about 1 kilometre (0.62 miles) to reach the caves or hire an auto-rickshaw.
By taxi, auto-rickshaw or ride-hailing apps
A private taxi or auto-rickshaw is the easiest means of reaching Jogeshwari caves. You can hail an auto-rickshaw from almost anywhere in Mumbai. But the easiest place to get an auto-rickshaw is from Jogeshwari station, from where the caves are just a 10-minute ride away. Alternatively, you can also book a ride on one of the many ride-hailing apps operational in Mumbai, like Uber or Ola.
By private vehicle
Jogeshwari is well-connected to the rest of the city via the road network. You can easily drive your own vehicle or a rental one to Jogeshwari caves, which is located very close to the Western Express Highway in Mumbai.
Free parking may be difficult to find near the caves. Paid parking lots are available, but these are not located very close to the caves.
Jogeshwari Caves information
Address: Gupha Tekdi, Jogeshwari, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400060, India
Opening hours: 6am - 1pm, 4:30pm - 9pm (daily)
Department of tourism: Maharashtra Tourism
News & updates for Jogeshwari Caves: Jogeshwari Caves – all you need to know about the first and largest Hindu temple caves in India | Jogeshwari Caves: These 1500 Year Old Caves Are The Largest In Mumbai
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